The Cosmosian comics onslaught continues, with another tasty assortment of strips!
Top: I’m not sure whether Gene is vain, exactly, but he certainly seems to have a high opinion of himself; perhaps as he is (one of) the protoypes for the Type Three Cosmosian. Good thing Artie and his dry wit are there to give him a much-needed bit of perspective….
Bottom: Wow, Gene really not showing himself in a good light in these strips, is he? Especially in these early days, he could be rather…. what’s the word I’m looking for here?…. childish. Clearly, Artie and Ax are making an effort to broaden his horizons about Star Trek here, but nope, Gene ain’t budging….
Above: Another good example of a strip that would only be ruined with the addition of ‘helpful explanation’ – it’s far funnier not knowing what precisely is going on until you hit the last panel, when Artie’s amazed exclamation abruptly makes the preceding bizzarre goings-on make sense (at which point, everyone who I showed this trip to laughed their heads off, a good sign). Gene’s silent and furious glare at Artie (perhaps being deliberately naive?) in that final panel also sells the joke.
Top: Gene just doesn’t know when to stop. Being able to break the fourth wall, and as a result knowing he is a cartoon character, gives Mr. Ellis a bit of an ego when it comes to dictating what goes on in Cosmos. Up to and including, apparently, smack-talking the ‘artist’ – i.e, me. Dangerous ground there, my son….
Bottom: perhaps foreshadowing Pixar’s ‘Monsters Inc.’ , this strip posits the question ‘What if your daughter said there was a monster in her closet…. and she wasn’t imagining things?’ The fact that both Dad and the Monster look equally baffled in the third panel adds another level to the joke, I think.
Above: These strips were supposed to be the first part of a much longer sequence in which Artie, Gene and co. would attempt (and hilariously fail) to create their own Japanese monster movie; riffing on everything from bad dubbing to plastic tanks and shonky cardboard-box buildings. Unfortunately, either because I couldn’t think of where to go next, or I just got busy with other things (I was at Uni by this stage), it never got any further – but never fear! In 2001, I delivered a full-length Tohoscope spectacular in the form of ‘Genezilla: King of the Cosmonsters!’
TO BE CONTINUED….